February 26, 2010

Super Fast Finishing Friday

The yarn arrived on Thursday, I cast on at noon today and was done by 2:30. Presenting a Dolores Park Cowl knit in Malabrigo Yarn Chunky. The picture below is a better color representation. I whipped this up for my godsister - she wanted it for her birthday which was last Friday when we ordered the yarn.

Now back to my Olympic knitting which was going to be during the men's hockey game but since they scored 6 goals against Finland in 6 minutes it is a bit of a blowout - I'll shovel some snow instead.

February 24, 2010

I Marvel at Ravelry and Ravelers

As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm running out of yarn for my Inca Marl Coat. The ruffle isn't long enough and I have one measly skein left (even though I bought the recommended amount it won't be enough).

So, based on a story Jennifer told me a while back about running out of yarn and using Ravelry to search other people's stashes...I went on Ravelry and found 3-4 people with the same yarn colorway and dyelot as I'm using (heck they even bought it at Webs like I did).

After sending messages to several people, I found Lynn (Rav link) who had 2 skeins leftover from a project. In fact, she acquired these 2 skeins in the same way I went about it. She suggested that instead of the "Traveling Pants" these become the "Traveling Skeins".

I marvel at how Ravelry has changed how we can search and work and knit. I marvel at the kindness of fellow Ravelers who reach out and help each other. Thank you, Ravelry and thank you, Lynn!

February 22, 2010

Okay, I Confess

I confess that the urge to cast on for Coraline was too strong. I waited a whole week while knitting my ruffle for the FOFI Olympics until I succumbed.

What really made me cast on was a 2 hour car ride and I'm at the point of my Inca Marl Coat (the ruffle coat) where it needed to be seamed. I don't seam in the car.

So I took Coraline with me and cast on. It has 226 stitches of provisional cast-on which was not much fun but now I'm trucking along.

I did seam my jacket shoulder and side seams while watching (not really watching but listening) to the USA/Canada Ice Hockey game. So, I was working on my FOFI Olympic project while watching the Olympics and Coraline was car work! (Can you hear my justifications growing by the minute???)

I needed to seam this to see if the ruffle is going to make it around it. I only have one more skein and I'm getting very nervous that it won't make it. I'll just have to knit it out, block it and hope that I can ease the fullness...I have gone on Ravelry and found a few people with the same yarn/dye lot and have contacted one person who has a single skein.

Next up - in today's mail there were 6 skeins of Aurancia Nature Wool which was on a great sale on Webs. The color is called purple but it really is more of a dusty plum. I have 1450 yards which will let me shop around for a sweater. Once I've started my homework, I'll show you my options.

February 18, 2010

Now I Know I Made A Good Call

You know how I questioned whether or not to renew my subscription to Interweave Knits. Your input and my gut told me not to renew and I can always purchase the great single issue here and there. Well, I think I made the right call after seeing the IK Spring 2010 online.

Quite frankly, there is not a lot in the issue I would consider making.

This tee might be worth a try - it would look good with and without a shirt underneath. But it is the only thing I'd be interested in making from the entire issue.

This jacket had potential but it is too chunky and unless you are rail thin it would look awful.

I can't think of a child I would dare to dress in this outfit - totally frumpy.

Why would you knit something that is so lacy that you must have a t-shirt every time you wear it? That's a lot of lace!
I don't usually have negative posts on my blog and I don't usually rant. There are some amazing designers out there and I don't think this issue does justice to the talent that exists.
I'm glad I let my subscription lapse!
Thursday afternoon update: little did I realize I had one more issue in my subscription. This issue showed up in today's mail. Unfortunately, it is as disappointing as I expected...

February 17, 2010

Just One More Ruffle, Please!?!

Yesterday, we had lots of snow.

Which led to lots of knitting - here are my ruffles. I'm about 3 feet plus now.

All this snow makes me want spring! My DH gave me these for Valentine's Day.

February 16, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

I don't usually post these but after reading Carole and Beth's posts, I decided to share my 10 Favorite Places to Knit. I don't know if I'll hit 10 but I'll give it my best shot.

1. In our den on the sofa or even sitting on the floor - last year we finally got an HDTV and there's no going back when it comes to viewing anything. I like to watch movies, sports, whatever while I knit away. Like Beth our dog likes to snuggle tight while I'm on the sofa and I often have her hairs knit into my projects.

2. In the car - I love when my DH is drives and I can just knit and knit and knit. One time we were going up to see a friend in Massachussetts and I didn't have all of the pattern I needed and I couldn't knit on the project I brought with me. For 4 hours I sat grumpily not enjoying the trip at all because I couldn't knit. First thing I did when I got to her house was print out the graph I needed.

3. Baseball games - our son plays baseball and I'm always knitting during them. He used to pitch and I learned to put my knitting down during that because I'd be so stressed and my knitting would get off gauge. I make sure it is mindless knitting.

4. Jennifer's house - I love knitting at Jennifer's house. We have coffee, we talk, we laugh, her dog Wilma gets all excited that I'm there. It is a wonderful, inviting place to knit and I always enjoy knitting with her and quite often several of her other knitting friends. It is always the best to get the creative energy together of a bunch of knitters.

5. Movie theaters - I usually bring my knitting for the period while your waiting for the previews. We tend to go to the first show of a movie (discounted tickets are the draw) and we get there early to get good seats. The conversation with the kids is the best during this down time and I will knit right up until the previews. I have knit during movies in the past but I prefer to become totally absorbed in the movie with no distractions.

6. School events/concerts - usually our kids have to be at the concert 1/2 hour before it starts so I just grab a seat and knit until it does start. Sometimes they leave the house lights on and I continue to knit.

7. While substitute teaching - I know this sounds awful but when you sub in older grades you aren't there to teach (unless the teacher knows you can do some stuff). I often am there to make sure they behave while they read a packet and answer questions. I can knit and watch them and make sure all is well. Some kids know I knit and are interested in what I'm making or what I'm wearing that I've made.

8. At the beach - if the kids are out of the water and it isn't too hot then I will knit on the beach.

9. At our summer house - this is where we have my summer S&B and I love knitting with my friend Kimberly. It usually is a lively discussion with a group of women that only see each other for 2-3 months during the summer.

10. On a plane or in an airport or on a train...all these are good knitting places. You can people watch with impunity too.

Wow, I hit 10! Hope I didn't bore you. Will show you ruffle pictures tomorrow...I wound my last 4 skeins needed to finish it.

February 15, 2010

Farmer's Market Cardigan

Here it is - all done! My Farmer's Market Cardigan. Excuse the poor photos as I was using the self timer, I'm realizing I shouldn't take photos with my hair all wet and that the turtleneck I'm wearing has lost it's oomph in the neck. All that being said, I LOVE this sweater.

It is still a bit wet so I can't wear it today but trust me tomorrow I'll be sporting it.

The pockets were a challenge getting the shawl collar to transition from pocket to neck. Lots of mattress stitch seaming which is tedious.

I did a 3 needle bindoff at the neck - I'll admit I did it backwards and after going through my repetoire of 4 letter words I ripped it out and did it right. My DH was worried he'd have to call in the reinforcements and the whole family wisely stayed away from me until I had calmed down and fixed it.
Now back to my ruffle for my Inca Marl Coat - I've done about 18 inches of it watching the Olympics.

February 12, 2010

It's Official

The Finish or Frog It Olympics are on! We even have our own button thanks to Jennifer. For typing sake we'll call them the FOFI Olympics.

Beth has joined the mission as well and you can too by going to the Ravelry FOFI group and find our sub-group for the Olympics.

Check out your UFO that has been haunting you - something you have never had the guts to finish. This is your call to arms (or sleeves) to finish this during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Last night I started on my endless ruffle - after 2 hours I had about 2 inches. The Olympics will be my true test...what is yours?

February 11, 2010

My Own Version of Knitting Olympics

I'll admit the temptation is great to join one of the different versions of the Knitting Olympics 2010...I could dedicate myself completely to starting and finishing Coraline. I know I could do it and I know I could make it to the finish line.

I've decided to do my own version of Knitting Olympics that ties in with the wonderful Finish or Frog It group on Ravelry. I'm going to FINISH my Farmer's Market Cardigan AND my Inca Marl Coat.

Here are the pocket and collar pieces for the Farmer's Market Cardigan. All I have to do is a bit of seaming and I think I'll be done so that is an easy piece for the FOFI Olympics (Finish or Frog It Olympics).

This is how much I've done of the ruffle edge to the Inca Marl Coat - had I realized I'd be doing a whole edge with short rows and very little progress, I probably would never have started this. I've done about 6 inches.

Here's a hint of how much I have to do!

So join me on this quest...find that UFO that you've avoided (I've been avoiding this for quite a while) and commit to the finish line at the end of the Olympics!

February 10, 2010

Now I Get It...

You know how my left shoulder has been bothering me since Thanksgiving? Well, I cut back on knitting and it still was bothering me. Last week I had a lightbulb moment when I realized that our bed (which is over 15 years old) wasn't helping at all. In fact, it was the source of the problem as I sleep on my left side.

After waking up in pain several days in a row, DH and I decided it was time for a new bed. It arrived yesterday and today I report I slept pain free. Today we have a snow day and I'm going to knit all day long - well more like make breakfast, knit, do laundry, knit, make #1 Son's birthday cake, knit.

One funny story about the new bed...they didn't tell us we need a "low profile" box spring. So our bed is VERY high up. I encouraged the dog to try and jump up and she looked at me like I had a screw loose. She comes to our room every morning around 4am - this morning I had to get out of my soft cloud of comfort and pick her up and put her on the bed. She gave this sigh of delight and relief - I think she was worried she wouldn't ever get up there. PS New "low profile" box spring arrives on Friday.

February 9, 2010

746 or 746.432

As you know, I love my library. Whenever I have a few minutes extra I go to the new books section and browse through the 746 section...or more precisely 746.432 area. Those are the fiber and knitting books.

This week there were 4 new books I had not seen - dating as November and December arrivals to the library. So, I took them out. Today Jennifer came over to knit and we had such fun discussing the books, the patterns, etc.

First, was Men's Knits by Erika Knight. It has 20 "new classics" which are beautifully photographed. She wisely puts the sweater on 2-3 models which shows each sweater's versatility and agelessness (if that is a word). Unfortunately, neither my DH nor #1 Son want hand knit items but I can still look.

Vogue Knitting's Shawls and Wraps has a large collection of openwork/lacy patterns. There are one or two which I would consider making...there are several that did not appeal to me at all.

Now this book, 99 Yarns and Counting, did not look promising at all. I must say from a design standpoint the cover does not do it justice. Within the covers, however, are a great collection of patterns. Lots of cute baby sweaters, wonderful hats and a great vest I'm going to see if Miss America would like me to make.

This book was in the 746 section (no .432 behind it). It focuses on projects inspired by different fiber festivals. I must admit it was a bit disappointing patternwise but if you are into fiber festivals it will be right up your alley.

I saw this somewhere on someone's blog and had to save a copy of the picture.
Snow is in the forecast...I'm hoping for lots of knitting tomorrow and perhaps I will take this motto to heart and start my Coraline.

February 6, 2010

What To Do?

There it was in the mail...the annual renewal form for my Interweave Knits. Last year I promptly sent in my renewal and then the next issue arrived and I questioned my decision.

Last April, I questioned myself again and even blogged about it. A few of you agreed and mentioned you had let your subscriptions lapse and you check the issue out at the bookstore before buying it.

I do love to get a magazine in the mail, I love browsing through it, checking out some of the products reviewed and advertisers websites...however I hate paying money for just one or two good patterns per issue.

What to do? Lapse my subscription? Why pay for the subscription when a few months later the pattern is for sale anyway? I think online might just ruin the publishing business sometimes.

February 5, 2010

Finishing Friday

Once again the Ravelry Finish or Frog It group spurred me on to get something done. I cranked out the lace edges of my Ulmus by Kirsten Kapur. I used Knit Picks Stroll and I love how the variegated yarn (which I'm not a huge fan of overall) worked so nicely with a solid color worked with it.

This was a fun knit...I learned though that lace weight yarn makes for a long time knitting a scarf. I started this back in December and knit on it every time we got in the car or I needed mindless knitting.

Okay, back to my Farmer's Market Cardigan.

February 4, 2010

Coraline it is!

My Classic Elite One Fifty arrived - I absolutely love the color (Blue Aster not the Tide Pool I originally wanted but was out of stock) which is pretty true in this photo - soft blue with the faintest hint of purple undertones.

Thank you for all your input on which cardigan this yarn should be turned into - Coraline is the clear favorite and will be my next project on needles! Joyce was very kind and went through a lot of what I had made and gave a very thoughtful vote for Coraline - thank you Joyce!

However, I'm still working on my Farmer's Market Cardigan. Here is the beginning of the pocket edge which works up to the shawl collar. Leslie has already finished hers but she remarked how she should have thought twice about this sweater when the directions for finishing it are almost a whole page long! This requires 100% of my attention and that is hard to get some days. Hopefully, today I can give it some time.